Call for tiny homes rethink

Amid rising interest rates and the rising issue of housing affordability, A Tullamarine tiny homes builder has called for councils to consider relaxing restrictions around tiny homes.

According to an unpublished survey of 146 tiny house owners in 2021 by the Shearer, Burton & Australian Tiny House Association, 17.1 per cent of the owners were from suburban major cities.

Mr Todd, who owns NJ Tiny Homes, is hoping that council’s can ease residency restrictions associated with tiny homes as he says council’s typically don’t approve them for use as permanent or long-term homes.

Periods of permitted occupancy can be for up to three months, depending on the council.

“Councils need to consider easing restrictions on tiny homes as the housing crisis takes another turn for the worse with the recent rise in interest rates,“ Mr Todd said.

“Standard houses continue to remain unaffordable and more needs to be done to address the housing affordability crisis.

“Councils can play their part by enabling residents to permanently call their tiny houses ’home’ and removing the barriers associated with living in them.

“The property landscape in Australia has changed and as the housing crisis worsens, we need to be able to adapt and perceive tiny homes as an alternative and affordable, permanent housing option.“

Mr Todd also said the cost of tiny homes makes living a lot more affordable for people.

“If someone had a property or land already, the tiny house would cost around $115,000,“ he said. “It’s all pre-fabricated and built in a factory in five weeks – compared to six to eight months with a traditional build.“

Brimbank mayor Jasmine Nguyen said the Brimbank Planning Scheme did not distinguish between a tiny home that was not on wheels and other forms of dwelling.

Cr Nguyen said the council understood the need for more social and affordable housing in the municipality.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the demand for social and affordable housing, and a strategic approach to addressing this with the state and federal governments is essential,“ she said. “Brimbank council adopted its first position statement on Social and Affordable Housing in May this year, following a period of public consultation in February and March.”

“The position statement will guide council’s efforts to support and encourage increased supply of social and affordable housing in Brimbank.”

“Guided by the position statement, council will continue to advocate for increased, ongoing, and equitable investment in suitable, well-located, and maintained social and affordable housing that is suitable to the needs of Brimbank.“

Thanks to Star Weekly for the story.

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